Atlanta rapper 21 Savage performed at Express Live on Thursday night as part of his “Numb the Pain” tour, accompanied by numerous openers for Power 107.5’s Powerfest.
The stage was not particularly impressive. To adapt for several artists, Power 107.5 simply set up two DJ stands at the back. It was constantly populated with photographers and hype men pumping up the crowd. Opening acts performed back to back, however the second opener got booed off stage after a failed crowd surf attempt. The only redeeming performance was Ayo & Teo’s set, where the duo performed its hit “Rolex.”
I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much going into the show and the openers weren’t helping. The constant bass from each song was starting to take its toll on my stamina after the second hour, with a variety of performances continuing for a third.
21 Savage made his way to the stage at 10:20 p.m.
I was familiar with his bigger hits but his songs are usually a hit or miss. He describes his style as “murder music” but at no point was the crowd hyped up enough for me to feel in any danger whatsoever. However, he lived up to the name by butchering my already low expectations.
The show started with “All The Smoke” and “Dip Dip,” and the crowd seemed more excited to be there than he did. Soon after, the lights were dimmed and he performed “Red Opps” followed by “Gucci On My.”
His live rapping certainly sounds better than it does on most of his recorded songs, but he isn’t much of a performer. The entire set was lacking energy, and he had very little variety in his stage presence. For most of it, he would merely walk around the stage then walk over to the DJ stand and take a sip of water. On occasion, he would put his foot up on a speaker and halfheartedly wave his free hand in the air.
After rapping his verses on numerous songs where he was featured, such as “Sneakin’” from Drake’s album “More Life,”, he performed his most popular tracks “No Heart,” “X” and “Bank Account,” which is off his latest record “Issa Album,” then promptly left the stage at about 10:40 p.m.
21 Savage? More like 21 minutes. To sum up the whole night: Issa flop.